Delivering not so much crash, bang, wallop as this is much more nuanced than that this multi-textured production from Atapy effortlessly moves on more than one creative level. Not to say that this still doesn’t pack a tidy punch as it does via a pounding kick drum and deep throbbing bassline but its chiming, undulating atmosphere’s enhance an altogether more thoughtful perspective. Daniel Wilde supplies an excellent remix with darker tones working up a much more tense arrangement of the track, although that sense of ambience is still wisely included on route.
Dave Martins, Mimanos
Only Love / Carillon des Marionnettes
The fifth release from Marionnettes is a rather lush, deep affair in the shape of Only Love by Dave Martins and throws up all sorts of surprises along the way. While the beats and bass groove along most effectively it’s the effected repeating vocals and twanged guitar sounds that really enhance the rich atmospheres. This is late-night listening which contains a real bite. Next is Carillon des Marionnettes and is a joint production from Dave Martins & Mimanos that opens with a cinematic, almost Spaghetti Western like theme – or have I completely lost the plot – which drops in an unsuspecting beat around the four minute mark but none the less always feels imaginative, probing and quietly edgy.
Add the name Maceo Plex to almost anything at the moment and you can guarantee that it will be worth its weight in gold. This excellent production from his alter ego doesn’t disappoint either, and will be of distinct interest to those old enough to remember Bobby Konders classic The Poem from 1990 (featuring Mutaburuka’s timely spoken message). Typically building the tension until it pops The Poem builds up layers of looped, funky vocal along with dark, insistent instrumentation into one beautiful crescendo. Next up is his Revenge Remix of Walk Alone sounding crisper and Tech, though always funky with those trademark bass notes in evidence. To The Top rounds off exploring Techno aspects…
Great EP from James Pople who delivers two equally fine cuts for your pleasure. Who’s That Girl kicks off with nervous broken beats, emotive vocals and deep chords feeling soulful yet unsettling. Next and propelled by an uber funky bassline, slightly sleazy deadpan words and a quick-fire succession of punchy percussion, Say I Move You instantly captures your attention. What else is there to be said, this works! Remixes come from Miguel Puente who’s sassy, shuffling rhythms and taught bass add yet another quality to the title track. Inxec then gives it extra urgency with hypnotizing, vocal treatments and an array of electronic subtleties which once again transform it into something else.
More excellent music that fits right in with right now. You Promised comes drenched with Daniel Wilde’s smouldering vocal alongside a collection of superbly brooding, funky rhythms that are hard to escape from. A Dub follows to highlight more of the instrumental mood, while next track Gonzo feels that bit brighter with the inclusion of occasionally big synths and frisky beats. The remix come from Carola Pisaturo who’s rumbling bass and staccato drums are edgy, though tastefully evocative, with the addition of just the right amount of vocal hints. Leaving final track, Moments Of Truth to continue to combine intriguing ideas on rhythm and atmospheric sound.
Dancing & Losing Control EP
Wez provides two distinctive cuts for this Hype Muzik release. The A-Side is a curious combination of appealing old-school moods and perky organ lines which sound rather quirky, but then that’s the very likable quality here. The more imaginatively titled Dancing And Losing Control follows with tougher beats and bass, featuring early nineties piano and vocals that again get the thumbs up.
Konrad Black & Art Department Graveyard Tan No.19 Music
Things do indeed only get better as this ridiculously good release from one of the world’s hottest labels No.19 testifies. Following quickly on from Tone Of Arc’s excellent single comes this from Konrad Black (Wagonrepair) and No.19’s very own Jonny White who along with Kenny Glasgow form Art Department. Graveyard Tan, as you might suspect from the title plays with hauntingly deep tones and simmering moody tensions that are at once deliciously intense and beautifully epic. Played over crisp hi-hats the expansive bass broods its way into your consciousness with the simple intonation of the word Baby all that needs saying. Version Two replays those very elements but either way it doesn’t get a lot better than this.
Behling & Simpson ft. James Fox EP2 Futureboogie Recordings
It can’t just be about the sunshine but every time I hear something new from Futureboogie smiles appear. You’ve got to admire the sheer audacity of the low tempo which always feels thrilling and of course deeply funky. This is no exception as the apt Work That Body stretches out uplifting chords over crunchy percussion and a vocal sample that weaves its way into your brain. The second track to feature James Fox is Tangled and if anything feels more expansive with its huge bassline and nagging synths complimented by oriental-esque chimes. AAW picks up the pace with more loose percussion and cool piano, while Good Thang feels that bit moodier, though equally effective, with more infectious rhythms and hot production values.
Huxley & Sam Russo Jamma’s Basement EP Leftroom Limited
Love the combination of daring styles on this latest from Huxley & Sam Russo whose stars are clearly in ascendance. Opening with off-kilter keys the continuing sense of being warped is offset by crisp percussion, familiar delayed vocals, and a dancehall styled bass which you can’t help but move too. This inventive production simply shines. As does the curiously titled William’s Trainers which follows with more sizzling hi-hats and classic House sensibilities adding reason to the twisted vocal edit.
Sound advice from Mobilee whose 93rd release once again reminds you just how vital the label always proves to be. The title track featuring Daniel Wilde begins with deliciously funky toms and then works its way into frenzied arpeggios by way of space aged vocal fx and a taut rhythm section. Next, Junction plays with heavier tribal toms and further haunting voices, this time over tech stabs which the louder they get the better they feel.
Release 35 sees the label on perfect form with one of their strongest to date. Kicked off by a classic House Music (all night long) bassline sparse percussion then invites you to dance alongside pounding beats and Take Me Higher vocals which, in this case, have survived the nineties unscathed. There’s something inescapably cool about how all of this sounds. The Argy Remix then sensibly retains the bass and adds early nineties Detroit styled organ to his suitably sparkling production. And speaking of the motor city, the legendary Rolando rounds it all off by displaying typical flair via excellent, yet unsettling, drum programming which makes the whole experience shine even more brightly.
More in the way of old music sounding new as Diynamic see Italian duo Hunter/ Game join up the dots between the eighties and now, while sounding vital and energised in the process. Cool synth lines combine with acid tweaks and Deep House bass to produce something instantly pleasing on opening track, Under. Boogie Music co-produced with FreakMe follows on to explore avenues of Electro-Funk bass and smoothly soulful vocals, as the title track goes down the classic Chicago route employing an infectious Reckless Lady vocal loop and melodic keys. Crazy Enough, finishes by building the tension superbly with staccato guitar and also takes its cue from the same influence pool, but as with all the music on the EP feels completely contemporary.